[Now Matched By American] BRUTAL! United Joins Delta In Selling Basic Economy Fares To Israel

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Update, 8/24: American is now selling basic economy fares to Tel Aviv, leaving Air Canada and El Al as the remaining carriers not selling a basic economy fare between North America and Israel. 

Worse yet, while Delta and United provide free checked luggage for cardholders, American doesn’t provide free baggage for international basic economy.

Will El Al match this, or will they use this as a massive competitive advantage compared to the US carriers?

Originally posted on 8/1:

Last November, Delta introduced the first basic economy fares on nonstop flights between North America and Tel Aviv.

I was surprised that Delta stuck with them, given that no other airlines matched them for the past 9 months, but apparently, passengers stuck with Delta despite the change.

American even dropped their basic plus bag fares in the interim.

But now that United has seen Delta’s success with basic economy fares to Israel, they have adopted the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”

Overnight, they launched basic economy fares in all markets to Israel, including their nonstop markets of Chicago, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

And no, they didn’t lower fares. They just marked their lowest fares as basic economy. Expect to pay an extra $100-$200 to get regular economy tickets.


While United does allow a carry-on in basic economy to Israel, they don’t allow complimentary seat assignments, checked bags, free changes, or full PQPs.

Changes will cost $199 round-trip plus the difference in fare and the 1st checked bag will cost $75 each way. Seat assignments will cost extra too, though you will be seated next to your kids under 12 years old.

Not only are Delta and United often more expensive than American and El Al, their cheapest fares are now basic economy fares, versus standard economy on American and El Al:


For now, no airlines are selling basic fares for nonstop flights originating from Israel to North America, they only apply for flight going from North America to Israel.

Hopefully those airlines can take advantage of this opportunity instead of the typical monkey-see, monkey-do game of just matching Delta and United.

Want to let United know how you feel about this development?

Tweet at them and let them know if you’ll be buying tickets on American and El Al due to this change:

You can like and retweet the tweets below to let United know:

HT: JackM, via DDF

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57 Comments On "[Now Matched By American] BRUTAL! United Joins Delta In Selling Basic Economy Fares To Israel"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Dan\'s the Man


This presents a good opportunity to not offer basic economy and show they are different than the big 3 US airlines.




At least we keep on bailing them out


Why the hell would anyone fly in economy with United over a low cost carrier???? Especially if the price is almost double. This is ridiculous.




People who have to connect at least…..(if you dont have a nonstop option)


Why is lifemiles not working today????


Unfortunately there will always be people that will always pick for cheapest option(not always by choice) thus ensuring BE sticks around. I’ve never seen an airline ditch it.

Next they will shrink the leg room and then sell Basic Economy Extra Space fare with priority (2nd to last) boarding.


The world can thank Delta for implementing basic economy a few years ago and ruining travel for everyone.


1st was killing Europe award prices, now basically economy to Israel that’s brutal, I wonder what’s next…! also why is business sometimes cheaper then premium economy?

Not good

Hows is this not collusion?

Thanks Dan!

Epic #fail on @United once again, their devaluations and constant hits, making me as a 1k member really regret always trying to maintain (read, pay more) for this status that’s becoming more and more worthless.

Yea, privileges, but not worthwhile anymore. I’ll pay as I need.

@Dan, is it back to the travel agent days? Let them book what’s best, forget status and…?


As far as I am concerned, the extra 1″ seat width in Delta outweighs the disadvantages of basic economy.


I flew on delta basic economy to Israel in July. I was very upset that I didn’t earn miles for the trip. Delta does not give miles for basic economy


If its not gonna hurt United AA has to be stupid not to do the same


Maybe we should just skip flying US airlines to Israel except for enhanced tickets (depending upon how their prices compare – i.e., economy plus, business, etc.). I hate American, in general, although I have flown on American recently (it has to do with my flights to Florida when my father passed away; also, they seem to be the only US airline that wipes out your FF miles and makes you pay to reinstate them…another money grab). I actually prefer Delta’s service over both American and United, although I’m sure people can debate about this for ages. In contrast, I’ve never had a bad flight experience on any foreign carrier I’ve flown to/from Israel.

Just my $0.02 worth.

Yanky Rand

If u are Preimer and buy basic economy what happens


United we stand, united we fall


How do you know fares were not lowered?


I’ve been tracking fares for a few itineraries, and suddenly I found today that across the board, the same Economy fares had changed to Basic Economy fares, while Economy across the board were $170 higher.


Why do you care Dan, it’s not like you are paying for your flights or flying less than business anyway?


Nobody asked you to join this website. He’s writing for his readers.


You must be from lakewood, ear hnidachas.

Ed A

It is like the old bait and switch con. They promote the basic (“fly to Israel for only ___”) and then turnaround and badmouth the cheap fare as you proceed to checkout. (“are you sure you want to buy this fare?”) It makes it more difficult to compare the fares especially if you want to fly with more than personal item.


Kayak.com has a feature to include carry on and/or checked bags in its prices.
Google flights from what I can tell only has this for carry ons (even though their help site says they do have it for checked bags)

Ed A

That could be helpful, but airlines and businesses don’t like comparison shopping for the lowest price and want to sow confusion. Who wants to sit alone in a middle seat all the way to Israel? So by increments the so-called discount ticket evaporates.

Fan Feels

Bottom line, is there a difference between Delta BE & United BE on these routes?


Seat width.


a total boycott on UA to TLV should be done to show that this wont fly


Pun intended?




When they cut down from 70 to 50 lb and then from 2 to 1 checkin, this was the natural next step.
Ridiculous that we keep bailing them out with US tax dollars…


It will be tempting for LY to join the party, unfortunately


Those it’s unfortunate. They lost me as a customer (unless they are cheaper even when factoring in the suitcase). Air Canada also changes BTW.


Any minor losses that UA will have from this will be made up from extra CC sign-ups to offset the bag fees and get a getter boarding order (important for carry ons). UA makes a whole lot more $$ off those CC’s than they do off flying people in the back of the bus. I would have the CC benefits plastered all over the BE purchasing process. While it doesn’t help with seat selection or mile earning, it offsets the major expense that people will have out of pocket.


Omg this sucks! Total disaster! Everyone flying on united to Tlv will be paying another 200 bucks might try American out

Chaim shia

with most tlv flights full to capacity Is there any decent prices to get for at least premium?
I have nightmares from sitting in middle seat in pcked flight for 12 hours any suggestions?
mileage tickets or sticking to one airline for status (I do fly 5/6 round trips a year)

Chaim shia

why is my comment not being posted?


“You can like and retweet the tweets below””
I think you mean you can like and re”X” the X’s below


Just booked on AA ORD—TLV with stops in LHR next year on Premium Economy for $1,948
Vs 1,750 UA wants for a Basic Economy non-stop – wow!


It’s not the case when originating from Tlv. I just bought 8 tickets from Tlv to ewr for November and there’s the regular basic and seat selection option.


@Dan does it make sense to pay up for regular economy seats at @$200 more per ticket? I have status with United so will get bags included, but not seats with basic economy.


Do these airlines not sell basic economy seats to other international destinations (i.e. Europe and Asia) that you’re calling them out for having it to TLV?

Jaicky Tammam

I’m flying El Al for the first time in probably 20 years due to this change by United. I’m a lifetime Gold member and just got downgraded from Platinum 1K for the last 4 years. Can’t see buying a ticket on United to Israel under these conditions


I figured they would join… but also thought they’d still.hinir the free bags with credit card. Shame :/


We are introducing Basic Economy to introduce new, lower pricing, Exhibit A: Flights for $1,500 that don’t include checked baggage or seat assignments. See how cheap it is?